Huge Powder Day at Big Sky

On March 19, 2014 by Peter

You know it is going to be a good day when a ski patroller who has been working at the mountain for three decades says it is the best snow he can remember. I left Jackson a day early to make it to Montana in time to ski all day on Tuesday in what promised to be a huge powder day at Big Sky, though the forecasted amount of snow was only a few inches. By the time I arrived at 430PM on Monday, after driving through near-whiteout conditions on Teton Pass and in Yellowstone Park, 6″ had already fallen and it was still snowing hard.

Snowing Hard on the Road to Yellowstone Park

It clearly dumped all night because when I woke up, there was easily a foot on the ground in the parking lot at the Lodge at Big Sky. I walked over to the main base area and met Bruce, my guide for the Big Sky First Tracks program. Like at Alta, Big Sky lets you book a lesson and start the day before the lifts open to the general public — perfect for a powder day. We loaded Ramcharger lift and made a few blissful powdery runs down some glades on Andesite Mountain (see trail map). We headed up the Swift Current lift next and dropped into an excellent, short but steep and wind-loaded pitch before riding back up and then traversing over to the Challenger lift. The snow kept getting deeper as we worked our way up the mountain. Bruce knew all the best lines, and he took us down Moonlight, which was also wind-loaded with extra snow.

Moonlight on a Powder Day at Big Sky

We did a few more runs off the Challenger lift, including some steep tree shots, before the radio crackled letting us know that the tram was opening. We made a beeline for it and found ourselves at the top in some seriously deep snow. When we dropped into Liberty Bowl, the snow was up to our chests. It was silly good skiing. You could hear howls of joy echoing around Lone Mountain, in addition to Bruce’s awesome voiceover in this video of me skiing.

It felt like two feet of fresh snow had packed into Liberty Bowl overnight.

Deep snow on a huge powder day at Big Sky

At the bottom of Liberty, we continued on into some untracked tree runs in the Bavarian Woods. The trees were gorgeous, laden with snow, and we lapped the Dakota lift a few times, finding fresh tracks every time.

Dakota Territory on a Huge Powder Day at Big Sky

The snow was so good I almost wanted to give up skiing forever, knowing that I may never have such an amazing day again. Almost…

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